Beware of Greeks bearing gifts
[Vergil, the Aeneid Bk II]
I believe Father knows best. And Bo will come to believe it, too.
[Hades to Zee, episode 510}
[Ed. Note: Valksy had to tend to a sick cat and wasn’t able to collaborate in writing about this week’s episode but we discussed it at length and her handprint can be seen everywhere].
Like Father, Like Daughter. The title of episode 510 reminds us that whatever else happens in the next 44 minutes of season 5B — and a lot will happen — at the heart of the episode, season, and series is that nagging question: Is Bo making choices of her own free will or is she playing out an inevitable and unavoidable series of events that has been scripted in advance by her father?
There’s no doubt that Hades is a masterful dramaturge who has been carefully putting the pieces of a very long game in place for a very long time – beginning well before Bo’s birth. Just think of the cascade of events he has set in motion in season 5 alone. At the end of season 4, Kenzi is convinced that freely choosing to sacrifice herself is the only way to close the portal. Bo chooses to follow Kenzi to Valhalla and chooses to trade her own freedom for Kenzi’s when Freyja threatens to claim her soul for Hades. In Tartarus, Bo is persuaded by Persephone (repeat after me: stepmothers in fiction are always evil) that choosing to take the Artemis candle is her only means of escape. In freely choosing to light it, Bo unwittingly brings back the Ancients, who in turn unleash the Nyx. In a last-ditch effort to stop the Nyx and save the world, Bo chooses to open Hades’ box and liberates him. Hades makes it clear that Bo is free to use the box to return him to Tartarus at any time but she chooses instead to contain the Nyx (and kill both Iris and Cece) for the greater good of saving the world. Really, did she have any other choice?
We don’t know the full extent of Hades’ powers yet, but surely one of them must be the power to think an infinite number of moves ahead and predict or determine what choices the actors in his plot will make. This brings us to this week’s B-caper. Thieves have been dispatched to the Santiago castle in Spain where Kenzi has retreated to retrieve a painting of The Vanishing – a depiction of the Ancient’s Last Supper on earth centuries ago, before they were banished from the Earth (by Hades himself, as we learn from Zee in the final scene). Within Kenzi’s earshot, the thieves happen to drop references to a succubus who slayed the Una Mens, so naturally enough she chooses to return from exile to warn Bo she is in danger, and chooses to bring with her the first siren, Heathcliff.
As it turns out, Hades’ never really needed the siren. In fact, the entire painting caper was a ruse concocted by Hades for unclear reasons. No-one is actually banished, and saving Zee — or making Bo believe she had “vanished” Zee — doesn’t seem to have been Hades’ primary motivation. Zee implies as much when she points out that Hades didn’t hesitate in vanishing her, Hera and Iris “all those years ago” – why not do it again? His reply is interesting, if enigmatic: “Your time will come, when it’s just.”
So what was Hades’ deal with the Vanishing painting? Banishing Zee – or allowing Bo to believe he had helped her by providing key information about how to use the painting – would have further encouraged Bo to trust him. But I think there may have been an even subtler game in play between the two of them around the painting. Bo had intended to use the painting to banish both Hades and Zee. She didn’t. She chose instead to banish only Zee. Now, we know it wouldn’t have worked anyway, but Bo didn’t know that when she made the choice. And this is the second time Bo has spared Hades since his return. How did Hades know she wouldn’t at least try to vanish him (and ruin his plan)? Is his influence direct, as in mind control? Or is she playing out an unavoidable destiny he has shaped ahead of her?
Another possibility comes to my mind – reminiscent of the time at the end of episode 418 when Bo was “baited” by her father to suck the revenants’ chi as they stumbled out of the portal, lowering her defenses against him, and allowing him to possess her (briefly). Perhaps Bo’s “choice” to banish Zee rather than Hades is an example of psychological manipulation rather than a choice forced by predestination. Hades makes it clear in a conversation with Lauren in episode 510 that he knows about Freud and transference and the power of unconscious wishes to shape our choices and behavior. What unconscious wish might he have been exploiting in Bo that held her back from getting rid of him? Didn’t the oracles reveal that truth to Bo in episode 507 (“Here Comes the Night”) – the person her heart most desires?
Kenzi knows best:
Kenzi: You could have used that painting to get rid of him, but you didn’t. You chose Zee instead. Why did you do that? Bo: I don’t know how I feel about all this, Kenz. It’s complicated…You don’t think it’s crazy that I want him to stay?
Kenzi: Not at all. He’s your father.
Valksy didn’t like the idea that Hades is coercing Bo’s choices – she’d rather think Bo makes bad, if well-intentioned, choices, playing the hand she is dealt as best she can. Bo recognizes she isn’t sure about her father, so she is giving him the benefit of the doubt. Is this naïveté? Or something honest and brave? It takes guts to give everyone a tabula rasa, against everything you think you know and against bitter or painful experience. It looked more like naïveté to me – and Kenzi seemed to agree: “You get what you need [from your father],” she tells Bo, “But do not trust him. He’s smart, and dangerous.”
There has been a subtle seduction going on since Hades first made his appearance in episode 509, and in the opening minutes of episode 510, during the stake out with Dyson, we are beginning to see the effects of that seduction on Bo. Bo refers to Hades as “BF” – a new favorite nick name she uses repeatedly with Dyson, Lauren and Kenzi. She means “biological father” but her friends naturally enough assume she means “best friend” — because c’mon Bo, through 4 ½ seasons, hasn’t it always meant “best friend”? Is this the writers’ way of signaling the shifting allegiances in Bo’s mind, a certain softening in her attitude towards her father? As if to underscore that, she goes on to tell Dyson during the stake out, “Sometimes the worst thing is not knowing how you feel.”
Valksy wondered if the Vanishing painting was a MacGuffin (a motivating element in a story used to drive the plot but serving no further purpose) used in this case to bring back the Pyrippus. Was that Hades’ motivation in retrieving the painting? Is he a Horseman of the Apocalypse who needs his devil’s steed?
Zee speaks for all of us when she asks, “What are you doing here, Jack?” Whatever his plan may be, apparently it has begun. Did it begin with his stealing the Leviathan’s handprint 600 years ago — sometime after he was banished to the Underworld? We know that it was Hades who banished Zee, Hera, and Iris from the earthly plane but who banished Hades to Tartarus? We still don’t know why Hades’ power waned in Tartarus after Bo’s birth, and who or what took it from him, but it certainly seems likely that something or someone wanted to thwart or slow down Hades’ plans. Who?
Did something or someone take umbrage at Zee, Hera and Hades playing “gods”? Fae are supposed to live in secret (as we are reminded by the Dyson/Alicia subplot in this episode, in case viewers had forgotten). Did some stronger force become offended by their hubris, spoil their fun, slap them down, and exile them, as if to say, “Leave the humans alone, stop tormenting them for fun, you’re not gods”? If the Ancients are called gods, but are not, then who or what is the higher power – the one who really makes magic?
We don’t get a good close look at the Vanishing painting but sitting at the center of that Last Supper tableau appears to be a formidable bearded figure with flowing white hair, arguably bearing some resemblance to the Wanderer depicted in the old Fae History books discovered by Lauren late in season 4. Just sayin’…
In looking for a God above these Fae gods, if the show needs one to explain itself, avoiding the Abrahamic god is common sense! In our mid-season 5 commentary, Valksy speculated that a good candidate for the higher power might be Kronos – Father Time, herald of the first Golden Generation of mortal men to live on the earth, and father to Hades, Zeus, and Hera (among others). In Greek Mythology, Kronos was warned that one of his children would eventually overthrow him and become the foremost immortal. With his Titan brothers and sisters at his side – the first generation of Titans to have a human appearance – Kronos initiated a war against his own children (the War of the Titans). Zeus meanwhile gathered the Olympians to fight with him against his father [http://mythagora.com/bios/kronos.html]. In the Lost Girl transfiguration of the Greek Myth, is it Hades who will be challenging his father’s power? And did he create Bo to fight by his side?
The theme of children growing to adulthood and confronting parental authority – Mark and Dyson, Bo and Aife/Hades, Aife and Trick – has informed Lost Girl from the very beginning. It would be fitting if the series ended with a war played out between the Ancients and their own Father.
This week (last week) on Lost Girl, I noticed a theme of seduction.
Big whoop, yeah? This is Lost Girl, after all. But wait – it wasn’t sexual seduction this week. It was how power seduces us, and can distract us from our true priorities.
Lost Girl has shown us how power corrupts through Trick’s storyline. Whether this is a continued exploration of the theme, or just a natural progression of Bo’s storyline to the end, both she and Lauren in particular were confronted with situations in which their choices might lead to trouble.
Lauren used herself as a guinea pig for the solution Hades suggested, using a viral vector as a Trojan Horse to further her experiment seeking eternal life. A surprising side effect was that she is also now a conduit for Fae powers.
Or is it actually surprising that that was the side effect? Hades suggested the vector that she used, and maybe this was his intention – to show her how it felt to have powers. Her face was filled with wonder when she tested out having Vex’s powers – seemingly without much concern for how she was flinging around her male patient’s limbs like a rag doll. When it came time to help Hale’s grandfather after Zee froze his larynx, she didn’t hesitate to channel his powers. (As well she shouldn’t have, since Zee would likely have flash-fried them all like thinly-sliced eggplant.)
Most telling was her behavior around having this new ability, though. She has shown a mistrust of Hades and refused his offer to let him examine her. However, at the end of the episode, we see that she did let him examine her after all – and then she lied to Bo about it. Lying to Bo creates distance between them and erodes their absolute trust and will likely lead to problems later.
For now, my money’s on Lauren’s ability to act as a conduit for Fae powers having a pivotal role to play in defeating Hades – since she could channel his powers too and have power over life and death. First, there will have to be some come-to-succubus reckoning and resolution about the deception and Lauren’s seduction by power and long life.
Bo is also dealing with complicated feelings about her father. She says all the right things – that she doesn’t trust him and will get rid of him soon, but admits to Kenzi that she didn’t banish him with the painting and the First Song when she had the chance. Is it curiosity about her origins, or is she gradually warming to the idea of having ultimate power – especially since Lauren isn’t strictly human anymore? With Kenzi skedaddling back to Spain after the painting caper was complete, there are precious few strictly human humans left in Bo’s social sphere to keep her grounded.
Sidenote – I absolutely loved Bo’s interaction with Suri Middleton at the art gallery. Being thwarted in her attempts to succu-touch the germophobic curator was amusing, as was her frustrated mock-sneeze and Suri’s ensuing look of horror. Bo could probably have forced her touch upon Suri, but didn’t – which I appreciated.
Speaking of humans, in time-honored tradition, Dyson had to claim Alicia because Mark couldn’t keep a secret. I can’t blame the kid too much, because Alicia’s self-recrimination about stabbing Kevin when he was actually just possessed, as far as she knew, clearly pushed all of Mark’s guilt buttons about how things with Iris played out. Mark isn’t good at keeping his cards close to the vest – since, unlike Dyson, he doesn’t wear vests. (Ha! That’s your only joke for this post.)
Dyson bears some responsibility here too, because who lets a human stay in his boxing gym apartment with all the occult books and the confidential files about Fae doings without even trying to clean up first? At least put all that stuff in a cardboard box and write “dirty jock straps” on it. His aghast “That was PRIVATE!” when Alicia told him she read the file on Kevin amused me – he’s been around long enough to know that people who are desperate for answers that you’re keeping in the dark will not respect boundaries.
There wasn’t much Tamsin nor much Trick in this episode – Tamsin’s role was to look hurt when reminded of Bo and Lauren’s relationship and to locate the museum offscreen, and Trick’s role was to look up information. It looks like next week (tonight) we’ll get a more in-depth look into Tamsin’s past, though.
Last week I thought it all seemed a little too easy how docile and cooperative Hades was with Bo’s ordering him around and answering questions, and this week I thought it was way too easy for the gang to banish Zee with the painting. But as we suspected, Hades really does have a big, bad agenda – he deceived everyone and Zee isn’t in Tartarus. Instead, she was “banished” to Hades’ corporeal location. They have a stilted conversation and she walks away. Where was she going? To the mall?
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry now that Pyrippus is back in the picture (literally! Ha! Two jokes! Because he was in the painting!). I’m glad the storyline didn’t just let Pyrippus go, since it was such a big deal in Season 4. But how will it make sense?
Here’s a thought: maybe Pyrippus isn’t actually Hades or Bo’s father, as we used to think. Maybe Pyrippus as a harbinger and agent of destruction is what Hades wants Bo to become in his quest to rule the world. Many have googled the world “Pyrippus” and haven’t been able to find that this name exists in bona fide mythology. Maybe it’s something that the Lost Girl writers made up. A Pyrrhic victory is one where you win, but you’ve also lost, because in the process of winning, you lost everything.
After such a long time without Lost Girl, it was so nice to be back with this show and these characters. I had missed them so much! I also didn’t have time to do a rewatch of 5.01-5.08, but that was okay because the “previously on Lost Girl” caught me right up.
We were right back in the action and I like that the show didn’t drag out questions that had been raised in 5.08. Tamsin is alive! Mark is alive! And Hades is out of the box and on the scene. Aw, hell.
Let’s talk about Hades for a moment. After being trapped for so long in the box, and going to such great lengths to get out, his behavior was different than I was expecting. He didn’t go into major destructive mode, or seek out Zee and her crew for immediate revenge. Instead, he was calm and, dare I say…helpful?
He helped Lauren and Dyson stop Mark’s bleeding, and then helped Lauren solve a nagging problem with her stem cell research when he dropped by her lab (ostensibly to check on the patient). Then he just sort of follows Bo around and tells her that she’s in charge and he’ll do whatever she decides is best. Maybe he’s not such a bad guy?
I don’t think so. As Mrs. Unaligned pointed out to me, people who are trying to manipulate others often try to make them think they’re in charge. Just as lessons learned are more powerful when you learn them yourself instead of having someone tell you the answer, it’s more powerful when you decide to do something on your own, rather than feeling forced into it.
Maybe whatever Hades has in mind for Bo’s role in his vision of the future requires that she chooses it freely, or maybe he just prefers to manipulate and cajole. Either way, I don’t trust anyone who grabs someone by the neck because they REALLY REALLY wanted to talk to you.
Speaking of manipulation, as the Drinks at the Dal hosts noted in their initial reactions to this episode, how great is it that Tamsin was able to engender doubt in Hera even without her Valkyrie powers? This could be a theme – how people allow themselves to be manipulated by doubt. Hades goes down this road a bit by telling Bo that what she believes about Aife and her captivity isn’t true. As well, the Leviathan told Bo in S4 that she wears Lauren’s humanity like a shield. Maybe, in trying to help Lauren achieve immortality, Hades is removing a check and balance on Bo that keeps her grounded.
Nyx is in the box, Hades is out of the box, Iris is dead, Alicia is alive, Hera/Kevin is in a coma, and Tamsin escaped. Zee is having none of it from Trick. Dyson and Mark are bonding. Kenzi is still gone. I think the box can’t be the only solution for getting rid of Hades, and it’s possible that he was posing a false dichotomy to Bo, but she did what she had to do to stop Nyx in the short term, anyway.
And finally, the ending. Holy crap! In the past, I’ve often watched promos, but this time, I just didn’t get around to it so I had NO IDEA what was coming, that Lauren was going to get hit by a truck. And it had so much more impact! (Pardon the pun.) I think from now on I won’t watch promos, to the best of my ability.
Here’s what I thought in seeing the final scene – I thought that Lauren had given herself succubus powers, and was chi-sucking Bo so she didn’t die. But then Mrs. Unaligned told me that she thought Bo had been pushing chi into Lauren. I’m not sure which is correct, but I’m sure we’ll find out tomorrow. What did YOU think was going on there?
I leave you with a final question, which I puzzled over. Why did Bo and Lauren decide to go for a walk instead of heading directly to bed? I mean, REALLY. #DoccubusSex
(Though as Mahlers5th noted, it was so nice to see them on a semblance of a normal date, walking around holding hands like a real couple. Trust M5 to spoil my pervy observation with a sentimental comment that made me say “Awwwww.”)
Anyway, whaddyagonnado. We want to celebrate this show which has so many cool chicks (and dudes) and put on a brave face despite the impending end of the season, so we have decided to eat our feelings. But since it’s summer and we ate our body weight in poutine last week, this latest recipe is high in fiber, Vitamin C, and contains healthy fats.
It’s fast, easy and delicious. (Insert joke about fast, easy and delicious women here. (Insert joke about the word “insert” here. (Insert three closed parentheses after this sentence.)))
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 stalk celery, diced
1 green onion, sliced and diced
juice of half a lemon (or 1-2 TBSP bottled)
half a red bell pepper, diced
1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
curry powder to taste (start with 1/2 tsp, add more if you like more)
salt to taste
Dice, drain, rinse, and mix it up. Put it in the fridge and chill out. Easy as succubus pie.
Also, add whatever else you have handy that sounds delicious, substitute stuff, it ain’t no thang. Chop up a carrot, throw in some cilantro, maybe some tahini or plain yogurt, whatever floats your boat.
Mahlers5th and Valksy are back to share with us an in-depth analysis of unanswered questions and a mid season-5 review! Thanks, you two!
Who hired Tamsin to find Bo? And what exactly is the relationship between the Wanderer and Hades?
I should probably just let The Wanderer rest in peace, but I am constitutionally unable to let a loose end dangle, particularly one that occupied such an important place in the story arc for two seasons. So let’s go to the videotape one last time.
The Wanderer first makes his presence known to Bo (and the viewer) in episode 308 (Fae-ge Against the Machine) when Bo turns over nothing but Wanderer tarot cards during her pre-Dawning scavenger hunt in Brazenwood. Tamsin later asks Bo, “So what is it with this Wanderer?” Bo has no clue and, neither does Tamsin – or so she professes. But as she is showered with Wanderer cards falling from the night sky at the end of episode 308, Tamsin is forced to acknowledge that Bo is “the One” that her boss hired her to find and now wants to claim. And for now, her boss – whoever he is — apparently wants to be identified as The Wanderer.
There were more than a few hints offered in season 3 – particularly during the Dawning (episode 309, Ceremony) and by Tamsin herself at the end of episode 313 (Those Who Wander) — that The Wanderer might be Bo’s father, but this was never established for certain.
In episode 310 (Delinquents), Acacia hands Tamsin a Wanderer card and says, “He knows you’ve found her. Now it’s time to finish the job,” reinforcing the suggestion that the powerful client who hired them to find Bo at the very least wants to be identified as The Wanderer. Tamsin suggests she’ll find someone else he’ll want more and make a trade, to which Acacia responds acidly, “Name one person he wants more than this girl.” When Tamsin protests that Bo is too powerful, Acacia gives her the rune glass (“he thought of that”) with instructions about what she needs to collect to overpower Bo: “The Druid will take care of the rest.”
In episode 405 (Turn to Stone), Massimo later confirms he created a special elixir for The Wanderer as an “insurance policy” in case Tamsin didn’t come through with her mission. The potion marked Bo so that she could be collected by The Wanderer’s crows and transcend planes.
In episode 408 (Groundhog Fae), Tamsin tells Bo, “One look in his eyes and I knew I’d never met true evil…I told myself I was powerless to refuse this beast so I accepted his bounty to find a woman…Eyes both brown and blue. Virtuous yet lustful. Neither Dark no Light, yet both.” When Bo asks if the Wanderer could be her father, Tamsin responds ambiguously – without confirming the beast identified itself as The Wanderer– “That thing would’ve done anything to claim his ideal mate. Even if it meant creating her himself.” Hmm Tamsin…is that Daddy, yes? Or Daddy, no?
In episode 411 (End of a Line), Acacia makes one last appearance and tells Bo that it was the Wanderer who had his crows cut off her hand “because his protégé here [nodding towards Tamsin] didn’t deliver you as quickly as he wanted.” Acacia has come to convince Tamsin to join her in bringing down the Wanderer. She suspects Rainer is The Wanderer, but Tamsin is less certain. She wants to be sure. Bo tells them she “just knows” that Rainer is not the Wanderer and was not responsible for kidnapping her. Sure enough, when references to Rainer start to reappear in the Fae history books, the ink still not yet dry, Tamsin sees a picture of Rainer and tells Bo, “That’s not my boss.”
In Episode 412 (Origin), Lauren reads prophesies in the Fae texts that refer to Rainer by name and describe him as a fanged tooth, horned demon beast of pure evil. After a thousand years, the book reveals, he will be unbound to bring about hell on Earth and betray the Fae. Lauren later shows Bo a passage she found with an illustration labelled “The Wanderer” showing a fanged tooth demon beast who bears some resemblance to a bearded Rainer. But since Tamsin had already revealed in the preceding episode that Rainer was not the beast who hired her, then we must conclude either that the resemblance is a coincidence or that someone/something may have revised the Fae history books to implicate Rainer as The Wanderer. Who? For what purpose?
At the end of season 4, all we know for certain is that Tamsin was hired to find Bo by an evil beast who may or may not be The Wanderer, may or may not be Bo’s father, and may or may not occasionally make an appearance as a fire-breathing demon steed named Pyrippus.
In other words, we know jack squat.
As the final season begins (episode 501, Like Hell: Part 1) an entity who hired Tamsin — apparently able to track and influence events in Valhalla via blue courtesy phones — contacts her as soon as she arrives to remind her of her duty to deliver the One with “Eyes both brown and blue/Virtuous yet lustful/Heart both strong and gentle/ Neither Dark nor Light.” Tamsin knows the deal: “She is yours.” Later in the same episode, Tamsin tells Bo that the man who hired her is not the Wanderer as she’d previously thought (wow, she picked all that up from one phone call?) but someone “way more powerful.” Hmm, The Wanderer seemed pretty powerful to us, Tamsin, but whatevs. Her boss doesn’t seem to rule Valhalla itself but Freya is willing to take orders from Him and Stacey is clearly intimidated by Him.
It is never explicitly stated that the entity who hired Tamsin is Bo’s father but I think we are meant to infer this from the fact that: 1) Freya refers to the “Him” she has been holding off for Tamsin’s sake and the “Him” from another after-realm to whom Kenzi’s soul has been promised as the same entity and 2) Bo identifies the “Him” who lured Kenzi to Valhalla as her father: “I’m the one he wants. This was his plan all along. He knew that I would come” – though frankly, Bo is herself in the dark about her father’s identity and in episode 413 (Dark Horse) seemed quite prepared to believe it was Pyrippus.
The writers didn’t keep us in suspense for long. In the season’s second episode (Like Hell: Part 2), Persephone reveals that Bo’s father is Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Many possibilities present themselves at this juncture – and even more questions. Was Hades the evil beast who hired Tamsin? Was he the Wanderer? If so, did Hades assume an identity as The Wanderer — first with Tamsin & Acacia, later with Bo — merely as an alias, to conceal his true identity? From whom? Did He also plant misdirections about Rainer in the Fae texts to make it appear that Rainer was The Wanderer? Why? Was he masking his true intentions? From whom? Or was Hades hiding behind The Wanderer persona to protect Bo’s true identity? From whom? The Ancients certainly seemed unaware that Bo Dennis was Hades’ daughter until Hera found her name, along with her special power as a succubus, in Trick’s ledger at the Dal.
Conversely, if Hades is not the Wanderer (or wasn’t posing as The Wanderer), then who is this Wanderer and what is the relationship between him and Hades? Did Hades engage The Wanderer to find and collect Bo and bring her to him? Or did The Wanderer merely use Hades for his own ends? My head hurts.
Equally puzzling is the fact that at the end of episode 505 (It’s Your Lucky Fae), when Bo reveals she was born in Hel (Tartarus) and that Hades is her father, Tamsin acts as if this is news to her: “That was him who I sat across when I made the deal. Eyes both brown and blue. That was Hades,” she says with a tone of wonderment. Who else could she have been referring to in episode 501 when she said she was hired by an entity “way more powerful” than the Wanderer, if not Hades? Is she playing dumb with Bo in episode 505? Why?
In episode 501, we learn from Trick that we have to take anything Tamsin says with more than a pinch of salt: “A Valkyrie’s blood is bound by secrecy.” Tamsin has been keeping a secret journal and we are led to think (in a scene between Dyson, Lauren and Trick) that Tamsin is so obliged to keep secrets that she cannot even tell anyone she is keeping secrets. If she is not allowed to discuss the Underworlds and those within it under pain of death, then was anything much that she might have said up to this point actually the truth? Or was she attempting to drop clues and hints without breaking the rules?
We must also consider – from the events after the lighting of the candle – that some entities (like Zee, Iris, and Hera) are non-corporeal body jumpers. So we don’t necessarily know who Tamsin was speaking to when she was hired to track Bo because we don’t know if she was addressing a body or a person within it who might be someone else entirely! If an entity is moving between bodies, this would explain why people don’t know quite who they are talking to or why the faces are unfamiliar.
For all we know, the person who set up Acacia may have been Zee pulling strings while wearing a different body (I don’t know if that is so, but the nature of these entities is such that it could be possible)
Is what we saw, just before Tamsin & Dyson crashed at the end of season 3, a look at the non-corporeal form of whatever/whoever has been tracking Bo when it is NOT inhabiting a body?
In episode 502, Persephone tells Bo that Hades’ powers began to wane as soon as Bo escaped Hel/Tartarus as a baby. He wasn’t even able to hold on to his own guards. And yet Trick, Tamsin, and Acacia seem “terrified” of Him – or whoever it is who calls himself the Wanderer in seasons 3 and 4. He is able to vaporize witches by remote control, make ghostly carousels appear, insert himself into Bo’s Dawning, command the ravens to do his bidding, kidnap Bo and bring her across dimensional planes to the Death Train, and concoct a grand scheme to lure Bo across the BiFrost to Valhalla to find Kenzi. In episode 501, Tamsin refers to him as “way more powerful” than the Wanderer. It is hard to reconcile the image of this godly Fae mastermind maneuvering Bo into playing her prescribed role in his grand design with the powerless denizen of Hel who can’t hold on to his own staff. In fact, Hades apparently needs to feed off Bo – via the umbilical “Wanderer’s mark” – for sustenance and he needs her help to be freed from imprisonment.
This is reminiscent of Zee’s need to feed off the electricity/energy generated by the crowd of fans at the football game in episode 506 (Clear Eyes, Fae Hearts). Maybe both Hades and Zee need Bo as a source of energy or wish to exploit her ability to drain chi from a crowd. But if Hades were truly Bo’s father, then according to Trick, he already shares her group-chi-suck talents and ability revive the dead. Why hasn’t he used these abilities to date to power up and free himself? Is it possible that Hades is not Bo’s father or is merely posing as her father for unknown reasons? After all, the person who identified him to Bo as her father was Persephone and who knows how reliable she is or whose side she’s really on? If Hades is not Bo’s father then who is? Maybe Sister Epona and the crazy pony ladies were right about the Pyrippus all along (we know a fire-breathing horse will make an appearance in season 5b).
Just smite me right now, O mighty smiter!
I agree that whoever or whatever haunted Bo in season 3 certainly seemed to have a great deal of power in both realms and does not seem to be the impotent and perhaps even contained, restrained, or otherwise enfeebled Hades. Persephone describes Hades as an increasingly impotent entity abandoned by his own people as his portion of the Underworld descended into disrepair. You’re right to ask how this reconciles with an entity that can cross all realms and work magic at will. It doesn’t make sense. If Hades created Bo for a purpose and if, in doing so, he surrendered some (or most?) of his power then how did he also haunt Bo? The Wanderer is powerful — if Hades is weakened and impotent until Bo bonds with Rainer then they cannot be the same entity.
Bo does ask Tamsin directly in episode 408 (Groundhog Fae) if the Wanderer is her father. Although the secret diary casts anything that Tamsin may say into question, her answer is to explain that the entity who hired her (who did not identify himself as The Wanderer) “would have done anything to claim his ideal mate. Even if it meant creating her himself.” I suppose if Hades is the Wanderer, an incestuous interest in his own daughter would be just one more deeply villainous facet to the character (as if the incarceration, abuse and rape of Aife were not enough). But I truly doubt that the Lost Girl production team would venture down this path. What’s more, if the Wanderer is the powerful force we are led to believe, and Hades is a weaker and fading force, this leaves a potential escape hatch for the production. If Hades and the Wanderer are the same entity then there can surely be no question of his villainy. If Hades turn out to be a voluntary minion of the Wanderer, then his crimes against Aife still remain concrete and inexcusable — this storyline doesn’t work either. But if Hades has been exploited, tricked, coerced, mind-controlled or otherwise manipulated against his will into fathering Bo, then is there some margin for Bo to be open to dialogue, at least, if not forgiveness?
Is Hades the Wanderer? Right now everything seems to suggest he is not — both practically and in narrative terms. So who actually is the Wanderer?
Perhaps in inducing Bo to hand bind with Rainer and open the gateway to Hel, then luring her to Valhalla and Tartarus, Hades has regained some of his power by closer proximity to the hand mark. That might explain why Freya and Tamsin seem to respect his authority in episode 501, but it still doesn’t explain who/what the powerful entity was that haunted Bo in season 3.
In episode 501, Trick unveils a map showing the various branches of the Underworld and how they seem to have a hierarchy; Valhalla is on the same tier as Tartarus, there are other “divisions” on the same tier and lower. At the top of this tree diagram looks to be a place called “High Heaven.”
Similarly, Freya herself reminds me of the undead civil servants in the movie Beetlejuice — people whose underworld experience is stamping forms and being functionaries. But who appointed her and what keeps her in her place? What created these underworld divisions? Who set the “rules” and assigned the lackeys (like Freya’s Valkyries) and why?
In Greek mythology, Hades was the ruler of the underworld but here that is clearly not – or no longer — the case. His power was fading – at least up until Bo’s hand-fasting ceremony with Rainer opened a portal to Hel and released him from prison; I have to wonder why that was the case.
I’m not crazy about the idea of invoking an even bigger and more powerful architect who is pulling strings over it all. But something can and does see through time and tamper with fate at will. When Trick writes in blood, what is the mechanism that makes that real? It’s almost like a sanguine letter to Santa which comes true. I am still puzzling out what determines the natural order of things and why some have power over the natural environment, time, space and reality, and some don’t.
Trick also seems genuinely taken aback by the news that Bo’s father is Hades. “It can’t be!” he say when Bo breaks the news in episode 507 (Here Comes the Night). Why does he sound so certain that Bo must be wrong? From the beginning, Trick has played his cards close to his chest regarding the identity of Bo’s father – professing ignorance yet seeming to know quite a bit about his qualities (including His ability – inherited by Bo — to draw life from many victims and transfer that life force to someone else). Why did Aife never mention she was kidnapped by Hades from the Dark King and imprisoned in Tartarus? And why is her tone almost rapturous when talking about Him in episode 313 (when she tells Dyson He would never let anything happen to his daughter) if this is the being who kidnapped, raped, and imprisoned her for centuries?
If Bo’s father is capable of body jumping (like Zee), then the Dark King and Hades could be the same entity, inhabiting one body. Or the Dark King could be a disciple of Hades and gave Aife to him willingly. While it would be unsurprising that Aife did not know where she was when caged, why did Lou Ann not mention a journey between planes and how might she have achieved it? She is seen getting out of a body bag at the end of episode 108 (Vexed) which makes you wonder about other people who seem dead but are not (like the Ancients themselves).
Trick certainly does not think that Hades can be Bo’s father. Although he expresses fear of the Wanderer in episode 408, in episode 501 (in that same scene with Dyson and Lauren I referred to earlier) he explains that he thought Tartarus was just a myth. Since the Fae are human myth come true, what if the Fae have myths of their own which are also coming true now? Could Hades be to Trick what a succubus is to humans?
The concept of multiple levels of existence – from the lowliest humans to the time/space/reality defying Ancients – also reveals a deeper aspect of Bo’s story. The Fae and the humans have an inherent collision of interests — while not all Fae kill, humans are still fodder for them. The Fae themselves indulge in the Dark/Light schism (is it simply philosophical in nature or is there a purpose to it?). Might there be a third tier of rivalry, perhaps one of an Overworld (represented by Zee and Hera) and an Underworld (Hades and perhaps Freya). Could the battle between Zee and Hades be the Ancient’s version of Light Fae versus Dark? And if so, which is Dark and which is Light, or is it even possible to discern the difference?
This line of questioning comes to mind with how Bo relates to Hades, in that her existence as half-Ancient by bloodline means that Bo has the capacity to invest in all tiers of conflict in her world — Half-Fae and half-Ancient by nature, but raised with human sensibilities. With hints of Bo as a Messianic entity in the past (episode 313, Those Who Wander, and episode 412, Origin), does this heritage make her the ultimate weapon for the Wanderer and, if so, reduce Hades to one facet of Bo’s past rather than the key to the whole story?
In episode 502, everything Bo does to Persephone in Tartarus is mimicked by the spirit Edimmu with Lauren. How? Why? Is there a point being made here?
There is an inference of a psychic link between Bo and Lauren. We’re supposed to be titillated by the thought that they are actually making love to each other — except that it’s not Bo, it’s the demon creature, stealing Bo’s moves.
I think we’re supposed to be reminded that Bo is a succubus and what the succubus myth meant. Bo’s nature as a predator from before the first episode is often side-stepped; the Edimmu entity is a proxy for Bo, red in tooth and claw and facilitated by sex-magic. It is also worth considering that some peril, particularly to a human, was required so that we would be confronted with the danger Kenzi also faces, and accept as plausible her decision to leave at the end of episode 502. If Kenzi herself was the target, then her choice becomes a more coerced one. As a witness to harm being done, is she making a more intellectual decision to leave? I have to think that we were explicitly shown than Bo isn’t always there to protect those who are most precious to her; the Fae world is an ever-present threat to humans, even if you have the most powerful entity in your corner.
Hades was banished to the underworld for thousands of years, so when/how did he manage to kidnap Aife from the Dark Fae, bring her to Tartarus, & impregnate her (presumably as part of a plan to create Bo)? What about Lou Ann? At what point in this sequence of events does she rescue Bo?
While I am not sure that there is anything canonical to answer this definitely, given the presence of ancient grimoires that write themselves before the eyes, the flashbacks to Tamsin’s past meeting with the Wanderer (episode 408, Groundhog Fae) and the presentation of Rainer’s long term incarceration on the train, I have to wonder if the passage of linear time, especially on other planes of existence, is not necessarily a given. If Hades was capable of crossing planes of existence between life and death itself, is time itself just as flexible and open to being traversed? That is, of course, pure theory. The answer is that we do not know, since we cannot accurately place names and faces within this story. Perhaps this is completely intentional to sustain the mystery. But why would the passage of time serve Hades? The answer may be in Trick’s belief that Tartarus itself was just a myth and his apparent incredulity that Hades could have sired Bo. Does it serve Hades to be all but forgotten to time? Certainly this ruse was used by Trick himself, the amiable barkeep-come-King.
It is possible that — having lost control of his daughter as she was carried from his realm — Hades simply did not know where Bo was while she was growing up. If there is any argument that his Underworld is not necessarily subject to linear time (since the kidnapping and imprisonment of Aife do not seem contemporary to Bo’s time with her adoptive parents) then was it possible that Lou Ann exited his Underworld without permission and outside his influence?
In considering the progression of time and events pertaining to Bo as an infant, it is also worth questioning how Aife came to escape from her cell and how Bo was removed from the Underworld with no apparent challenge from a doting father who had been seen crooning and singing to her as a loving father (episode 309, Ceremony). Is it possible that Hades had become imprisoned in the music box — an item seen in the nursery in episode 502 — at this point and was unable to intervene?
Certainly there seems to have been a connected chain of events: the starting point (Aife) led to a threat on Bo’s life at the end of S1, which compelled Trick to write in blood, leading to the unleashing of the Garuda whose presence led to Bo demonstrating her ultimate power by the end of S2. I wonder if this acted like a beacon to her father, the Wanderer, or both?
I also find myself considering the closing shot of Lou Ann in episode 108 (Vexed), in which she frees herself from a body bag, and wondering if there is a correlation to the fact that Zee, in the body of Elizabeth Helm, is seen freeing herself from a morgue drawer in episode 503 (Big in Japan). Is there a connection between these two resurrections and more hints about strings being pulled and machinations that tamper with Bo’s life path? Is anyone who they are supposed to be?!
The obvious follow up question for this is — why would anyone, especially someone with powers we might describe as “god-like” go to so much trouble? If time and reality are as fluid as they seem to be now, what purpose is being served by trying to (or needing to) covertly steer Bo down a path that is not yet revealed to us?
I would argue that the answer to this is in the fatalistic themes of the show — are we born or made, and how much choice do we genuinely have in what happens to us? If Bo’s pathway to whatever punchline is waiting in the closing episodes was inevitable all along, then what is the point of the story? I find it hard to believe that Bo can be genuinely reduced to just a pawn in the game being played. Surely free will must still be possible. Is Bo’s free will required for some future event by whatever forces are trying to control — even end — her world?
I think we’re generating more questions than answers, Valksy, but the questions are certainly worth thinking about. So here’s another for you:
Why does Bo’s father let her escape not once, not twice, but three times?
Having gone to all the trouble of creating Bo, why did Hades let her escape Tartarus as a child? Having tracked her down on the earthly plane (by age 30), why did he wait to kidnap her? Having kidnapped her, why did he (or The Wanderer) then let her escape the Death Train? Having gone to all the trouble to bring Kenzi to Valhalla so Bo would follow, why let Bo escape so easily? Couldn’t he have overpowered her in the elevator (in episode 502, Like Hell-Part 2)? Is this all so she will have the illusion of freely choosing to side with him in an upcoming battle?
I think that the answer to this may rely on our conclusion that Hades and the Wanderer are simply not the same man. It is therefore possible that there are two entities trying to guide or control Bo to their own ends. Is Bo being called on to rule as the Dark Queen as consort or as a daughter? Is it her role to free Hades from his prison, or participate in some as yet undetermined endgame with something that seems even more powerful?
Whatever the endgame is in store for Bo, if it was possible to force her to do it, why not simply do so? Maybe Bo is facing tests and trials (like Hercules or Gilgamesh) but if so, who is setting them in her way and is she passing or failing?
Hades appears to be imprisoned and impotent and I think that incidents such as the delivery of the music box (addressed by “Dad”) are orchestrated by Persephone, who has misrepresented her interests to Bo, just as (in the original Greek tales) she was not always a reluctant victim, but also a queen of the Underworld in her own right. However, I am not sure that there is evidence to suggest that Persephone has any significant power in her own right – she may simply have a vested interest in Hades being freed and returned to a position of influence. Nor is there anything to suggest that the Wanderer is interested in Hades beyond the purpose which he has already served. Perhaps the reason that we cannot make sense of some of the more confusing elements across season 3 and 4 is because they are carried out by two different factions with two different motives.
Why haven’t we seen the Dark Queen so far in season 5?
We did see “Supersuccubus” in episode 501, chi-sucking the three brothers from the Hills Have Eyes, but there is no expression of thirst for power that we’ve come to associate with her appearance. Even when Bo was within spitting distance of her father (in episode 502), there was no evidence of the kind of possession we witnessed in episodes 208, 222, 305, 309, & most recently in episode 413: “I am your Queen whether you swear it or not, fool!” she hisses at Dyson. “And my true army cometh. I was bound by blood. Now we bathe in it. Humans. Fae. All will bow before me. All will break before the power of the Pyrippus!” Are we to infer that Bo is increasingly able to control her Dark Queen side? When/how did she learn to do this? Her control still seemed so tenuous at the end of episode 413.
Bo chi-sucking the creeps in episode 501 kicks in when she is unconscious & hurt. She extends it to cover the whole group when one of them prepares to point a shotgun at her. Watching the scene, I’m not sure how conscious or aware she is, or whether it is an instinctive survival mechanism. Other than this point, is Bo in the kind of deep and serious peril which has tended to trigger it in the past? I’m not sure that it has ever been something that she can produce at will, only under duress, and she was under physical duress on the mountaintop. You could argue that she just wasn’t otherwise sufficiently provoked.
What about The Wanderer’s mark? It didn’t make an appearance in season 5 until episode 508 (End of Faes).
Bo and Rainer both believed the mark was left on them by The Wanderer when they were on the Death Train. That was certainly where it first appeared. We also know it was stolen from the Leviathan 600 years earlier. Yet, in episode 412 (Origin), Bo indicates she is somehow linked to her father through it – when it glows, she is weakened, as if drained of chi. Are we meant to conclude that the Wanderer may have placed the hand print on Bo but that Hades, her father, is somehow profiting from or feeding off it? I’m confused.
In first half of season 5, we’ve seen no evidence that Hades is exercising any influence over Bo via the handprint, as He did at the end of season 4. Why not? Bo seems so hell-bent on ridding herself of the mark (in episode 508) that she is willing to be operated on without anesthesia with a rusty blade by Zee, who has clearly established she is decidedly not the cool kind of aunt who buys you condoms.
If the handprint was an umbilical cord and Hades was feeding off her, it would make sense that it was discrete and she was not so intent on ridding herself of it until the opportunity actually presented itself. Hades seems to have a parasitic connection at this stage.
The Pyrippus may be making an appearance in season 5b. Is Rainer gone for good? Was he merely enlisted by The Wanderer — or Bo’s father posing as The Wanderer – to set in motion his plan to have Bo open the portal, releasing him from Hel, then lure her off the earthly realm to Valhalla? What did Rainer get out of the deal? Liberation from the Death Train and a trip to Valhalla? If Hades is influential in Valhalla, and Rainer should have been transported to Valhalla in the first place (before Trick erased him from history) why did the Wanderer or Hades keep Rainer imprisoned on the Death Train for hundreds of years?
Perhaps the Death Train was a kind of emergency measure to stop Rainer from being erased altogether? Trick wanted him completely wiped from existence – perhaps the train was a bell jar to keep him in stasis until the Wanderer was ready to move that particular pawn. But that doesn’t explain why Rainer was selected — except for the fact that Rainer was trying to tamper with the Fae natural order of things and might continue to do so if given the chance (e.g. murder the Una Mens).
Honestly though, I think he was a convenient pawn who has been discarded. To tamper with Bo’s meaningful relationships. And if he was promised Valhalla… well, didn’t he kind of give up in his fight against Massimo? If it wasn’t a good warrior’s death, he gets nothing.
Did Massimo beat him fairly or did he give up, mission accomplished by playing a role?
In any case, we weren’t sorry to see Rainer go and hope he is gone for good.
What are we supposed to make of the Artemis candle? Bo “stole” it from Hades a little too easily, so presumably he – or somebody from the afterworld — wanted her to take it. To what end? Simply to allow the Ancients to escape to the earthly plane? Does that mean Hades was at one time in cahoots with the Ancients? It’s hard to believe Persephone could pull this off behind his back and without his knowledge – not with all those bugged blue courtesy phones all over Valhalla. What sort of arrangement is/was there between Hades and the Ancients? Zee seems to suggest in episode 508 (End of Faes) that they had been working together or were pretending to (“Hades may have inspired this shindig…”) but now she professes to want to prevent Hades from using Bo to end the world. Her look of terror when Bo opens her father’s diable-en-boite at the end of episode 508 suggests they are no longer on the same side. What happened?
Bo was all but guided to the candle (incidentally, the music box was visible within the nursery in Tartarus, so it is also under Persephone’s control — is she as innocent as she seemed?). In episode 501, Trick, Dyson, and Lauren read in Tamsin’s diary that “the wearer of the shoes can collect souls to build a dark army – the army to end all life.” Perhaps Persephone would want this since her mother, Demeter, is very much an entity of the realm of earth. Perhaps Persephone is helping Hades destroy her mother’s realm out of vengeance or as some manifestation of Stockholm Syndrome.
Bo pretty much had that candle pressed into her hands, true. And it did unleash the Ancients. It does seem like a huge plot is playing out but I can’t tell who is on which side!
The mysteries remain!
The music box. What’s your best guess about what Bo sees at the end of episode 508 (End of Faes)? Why is Zee so terrified – slinking away as soon as she hears the music begin to play?
I did love Amanda Walsh’s performance in this scene as the abject horror Zee seems to show has resonated with me since. Is Hades really so alarming to her? He seems to be on her tier of power as an Ancient — or perhaps even her inferior, since he was an Underworld custodian and therefore an administrator, like Freya.
I wonder if the terror is related more to who or what put Hades in the box, having had Hades play his part in creating Bo. If this is the Wanderer, an entity who wants Bo as a mate and would be inconvenienced by her being her father’s daughter, then what is he and why would he be so powerful?
There seems to be a hierarchy of potency across the species that inhabit Bo’s world. Humans are the weakest and have no additional power; Fae prey on humans and have some supernatural ability, the Ancients seem dominant to the Fae and exhibit powers outside the natural. What else might there be that is at the top of this food chain?
According to myth, Zeus and Hades were the children of the Titan Cronus, who was the personification of time and who engaged in a back and forth struggle for power with his own off-spring before being defeated and banished to Tartarus. Since Lost Girl understandably does not replay the myths detail by detail, might this defeat and banishment have been reversed and is it possible that Hades being released will re-ignite a conflict with the apex entity — the Wanderer.
While the Greeks considered Cronus to be the embodiment of chaos, the Roman counterpart character of Saturn is viewed as a positive and guiding entity who managed the divergent species who existed in his realm, provided laws for them to live by and presided over a Golden Age, although what might have been considered a Golden Age could just as easily have been a dictatorship, where the powerful ruled by threat of force and had dominion over all lesser species. This kind of ambiguity seems like a possibility for an ultimate foe for Bo to challenge and conquer, to determine who she is and what she represents to others by her own choice — and in doing so, fulfill the promise of the show itself.
“The local Nymphs and Fauns once lived in these groves, and a race of men born of trees with tough timber, who had no laws or culture, and didn’t know how to yoke oxen or gather wealth, or lay aside a store, but the branches fed them, and the hunter’s wild fare.
Saturn was the first to come down from heavenly Olympus, fleeing Jove’s weapons, and exiled from his lost realm. He gathered together the untaught race, scattered among the hills, and gave them laws, and chose to call it Latium,
Under his reign was the Golden Age men speak of: in such tranquil peace did he rule the nations, until little by little an inferior, tarnished age succeeded, with war’s madness, and desire for possessions.”
Aeneid VIII – Virgil
And saving the best for last — The $64,000 question: Is Doccubus reunited?
In episode 508, Bo tells Lauren there’ll always be one reason or another to put off their relationship, but she wants to be together, prompting Lauren’s immortal words, “Oh boy…” When Bo asks if that’s “Oh boy, yes” or “Oh boy, no,” Lauren hesitates. Why would Lauren hesitate? As soon as Lauren hesitates, Bo seems distracted, spots Tamsin, and tells Lauren they’ll finish this later. Huh? After pining for Lauren for, like, 23 episodes (or was that just us fans?) you’ve finally asked your ex to be with you again and…you get distracted by the girl you just dumped? “Aaaaannnnnd we’re back,” Lauren says, speaking for an entire fandom. Can you make sense of this for me?
I wonder if Lauren hesitates because Bo has picked the worst time for a chat. It’s not like she pops the question over candles and dinner! And also keep in mind that Bo’s sense that time is short suggests that – in Bo’s mind at least – she may fail. This would also be shocking to Lauren, who might have assumed they would eventually prevail, so didn’t see as much (if any) urgency to actually have this conversation.
It’s very much a “This?! Now?!” moment to me, and one that Lauren may see as unnecessary because she has faith in Bo and feels confident that they will win the day. I liked seeing another example of Lauren’s belief.
Bo is distracted by flesh – she’s a succubus. There is a part of her that is compulsion and raw unregulated desire, but she wants to move beyond her programming and live the life she chooses. It’s just not so simple for her given that she has already shown she’s not going to be capable of physical monogamy. Is this the closing note of the show? That there is more to meaningful connections with people than something as simple as sex, that emotional resonance is of infinitely more value? Would it be genuinely unique to ask us all to disregard physical intimacy and focus completely on the emotional bonding instead?
Do we dare to hope for a “fairy tale” ending or not?
Certainly none of us grew up with romantic tales that end with the girl getting the girl; this would not count as a traditional heteronormative “happy” ending. I think that it is fair to say that many of us have a deep longing to see a finale that would be unique and satisfying and give us all our “princess” moment (well, Bo seems to be the daughter of a King…maybe). Is it a happy ending for Bo to live a long and loving, but in the end sad life with Lauren as the weight of humanity takes its toll? Is it even a sad ending if time comes to pass, as it naturally will for the human doctor we love so much? Should Bo remain as the heir to the Dal, a place of neutrality and balance with the promise of protection if needed? What about Bo saying goodbye to her wife on her passing and returning to the world as the tumbleweed we first met, to become lost and found again in a new adventure with a new family of choice?
Might we, as the viewer, be called upon to make this choice for Bo in our minds as the credits darken, with ambiguity offering many paths to our beloved character and the outcome in the power of each and every one of us? In a show that is ultimately about choice, is this the final choice for us to make?
Do you think people are born good and at heart, everyone wants to be good? Or do you think that people are born selfish and evil, and make a conscious decision to set aside their self-interested behavior in order to live in a civil society? What about the idea that people are born as a blank slate and become shaped by their environment and circumstance? Do the ends justify the means? Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?
These are weighty topics. There are no definitive answers, only opinions. As with many questions that have no answers, art explores different facets of these questions and their consequences. Lost Girl has explored all of them.
Are people born selfish?
Let’s consider episode 4.09, “Destiny’s Child.” Trick goes to Dao-Ming, a Luduan who can force humans and Fae to tell the truth, in order to seek her help to recover a memory that he blocked. Her price is answers. One of the questions she asks him is “Who do you love the most?” He tries to dissemble, saying Isabeau, but when she pushes him, he admits:
“Me. I am the first son of this earth. I am the one to be worshipped.”
What are we supposed to take from this? Is Trick just a selfish dude who loves himself the most? Or is he simply stating a universal truth about the human condition? Do we all love ourselves best, even if we would be loathe to admit it? Was Thomas Hobbes right that human nature is, at its heart, made up of self-interest?
Trick has a powerful Fae gift and a pretty healthy god complex. He also had absolute power when he was king, and became corrupt and created harmful laws, as he himself states to the Una Mens in “Let the Dark Times Roll,” episode 4.05.
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” – Lord Acton
It took Isabeau’s death to make Trick realize that he had lost himself and wasn’t a good ruler anymore, so to bring about peace, he wrote the new Blood Laws and created the Light and Dark Fae with strict rules and a system of government that was less dictatorial (though still not a democracy). Soon after the creation of the Blood Laws, his daughter Aife violated them and he was forced to give her to the Dark Fae, or else his entire creation would have collapsed, and the peace along with it.
It was Hobbes who described in Leviathan his opinion of the natural state of mankind if not for political community and a social contract:
“…no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
Trick’s voluntary abdication of absolute power as the Blood King and his decision to travel to the New World to create a new type of Fae colony is a new social contract among the Fae.
Are people born good, and then become corrupt by circumstance?
“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” –Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau said that people create societies to gain freedom from lawlessness, and then many times those societies don’t give us the freedom we asked for. Since majority rules, the minority by definition is in some way disenfranchised, despite the best efforts of societies to respect the rights of the minority. In the Fae world, the minority of Fae who didn’t want to adhere to the Blood Laws, who fell in love with humans, or with another Fae of the wrong clan, were put to death.
History is written by the winners, even when they step down afterward. Trick’s victory was a Pyrrhic victory, to be sure, but he literally wrote the history in his blood. The question is, now that he’s not a sovereign with absolute power, can he resist exerting power? He trafficks behind the scenes for most of current-day Lost Girl, pulling strings and influencing people but staying far away from any official office. However, at the end of Season 4, he becomes the Acting Ash. Trick and power are a volatile combination. I wonder, in the 8 episodes that remain in Season 5, will we see any consequences to Trick’s resumption of some limited political power? Maybe Lost Girl is going for a theme of redemption, and Trick has learned some lessons. I can’t help being optimistic.
Whether you think people are born selfish, or born good, or both and neither, how should they govern themselves?
Government is a collection of individuals, so let’s take a brief and cursory look at systems of government and economics that are the legacy of Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, Voltaire, Machiavelli and Marx (among many, many others):
Our modern economic system in the United States is capitalism, which is an inherently selfish model dedicated to acquiring and keeping wealth. Publicly-traded companies have only one mandate: to increase value for shareholders. One extreme political philosophy that believes in capitalism above all else is libertarianism. Libertarians are Hobbesian in that they claim the freedom to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid, and in fact want fewer laws than we have already.
At the extreme other end of the economic spectrum is communism with its doctrine of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Though some countries still operate under communist principles, I think we can acknowledge that as an economic and political system, communism was not a success. The idea was that talented people would work hard and contribute to the greater good without need for compensation, but in practice that didn’t seem to happen – probably because those in charge of the communist countries were themselves corrupt and sought personal enrichment and power for its own sake.
Perhaps we should look to Canada, Lost Girl’s country of origin, for a happy medium. Canada’s political system is parliamentary, which is government driven by the will of the people and based on compromise and consensus. Its economic system is market-based capitalism with high taxes that fund a very robust social safety net. Is it a perfect system? No, but it seems to me to be more compassionate than capitalism run wild.
It seems like that’s what Trick did when he stepped down as Blood King and created a two-party system – he moved the Fae political environment from a dictatorship to a sort-of parliamentary system. Adventures in Fae democracy!
What is Lost Girl trying to say here?
Let’s return to the original question posed by Trick’s declaration: are people selfish? In order to determine what Lost Girl’s position is on that, let’s take a look at the protagonist, Bo Dennis.
Is Bo selfish? If we anthropomorphize her Fae power, we could call it selfish. She will become overwhelmed by her hunger if she doesn’t feed regularly, and when she was on the run for ten years, she was driven to kill many times. That’s not actual selfishness, though – that was survival. Do we call a baby selfish for crying when it wants to eat? No – we call it hungry. Lord Cameron said that we are just nine meals away from anarchy – hunger is a powerful force.
From time to time, Bo’s individual actions with regard to her personal relationships can be seen as self-absorbed or selfish. Bo was a teenager when she ran away from home, so we can understand why she might still be learning how to behave as a mature adult in personal relationships. As well, sometimes she can’t see the whole picture, so she doesn’t know why other people are behaving the way they are – like when Lauren was undercover with the Dark Fae during much of Season 4.
But overall, Bo is one of the least selfish characters on the show. She has sacrificed her own happiness and safety to ensure the happiness and safety of those who are important to her in so many ways:
by rescuing Nadia for Lauren
then by killing Nadia when it was clear that she was a danger to Lauren and couldn’t be saved
by using Isabeau’s essence to bring Trick back from the dead when he had been harmed by the Garuda instead of using it herself as he had intended
by breaking the rules to bring Dyson out from the Temple and bringing him back to life
by volunteering to take Tamsin’s place to be made into candy in Krampus’s factory
by saving Kenzi, and finally,
by then letting Kenzi go.
Does helping people help us feel better about ourselves? Undoubtedly, although I wouldn’t say that that’s why Bo does the things she does. Bo is pretty special, though – what about regular people? Studies have shown that helping others contributes to our own self-esteem. Maybe people do actually love themselves best, but one of the best ways to show yourself love is by helping others and by contributing to the happiness of your loved ones.
Since Bo is the protagonist of Lost Girl, her behavior makes a huge statement about what the message of the show actually is. And it’s not that people are inherently selfish or bad. Instead, it’s that some of our finest qualities are bravery, self-sacrifice, and our capacity to love each other.
Nobody’s perfect, but we’re still pretty damn good.
We can also take from Bo’s story that there is something inherently good about people. If Bo were solely shaped by her environment, then she would be very evil indeed. She has every reason to be bitter and angry, and yet she transcends her legitimate grievances to forgive her adoptive mother and let go of that anger. She has every reason not to trust people, but Bo is one of the most trusting characters we see – she takes many leaps of faith with Kenzi, Lauren, Dyson, Tamsin and Trick. And she has every reason to think the worst of people, yet she manages to see the good in all of her friends and loved ones.
I think that ultimately, Trick’s declaration that he loves himself best might be a light commentary on human nature, but it primarily serves as contrast to the selfless – and indeed, self-sacrificing – nature that Bo exhibits as part of her core personality.
I, for one, am very glad that Lost Girl came along to serve as a refreshing antidote to all the gloom and doom about human nature. I’m sure that Hobbes and Machiavelli are feeling properly chastened.
What’s cookin’, Faens? We need to talk about spaghetti and meatballs – or, as we call it in my house, S&M.
“Honey? Do you want S&M tonight?”
“You know. Pasta so good it hurts. It’s 50 shades of delicious.”
“I’m questioning my life choices.”
For a while I thought I had a pretty good recipe for S&M, but then I tried this recipe courtesy of Rebecca, more commonly known as the “S&M Queen of the West Coast of Canada” (or at least she is now), and all bets were off. This is now my go-to recipe. I made a couple of modifications but it’s pretty much the same.
Anything that Bo has her hands in (ahem) tends to be pretty spicy, so this sauce is named in honor of her succubus nature. But it’s Vex and Mark who provide the secret ingredient. Read on to learn how to make the last sauce you’ll ever want to make.
1 pound ground beef or bison
8-10 white button mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
5 cloves garlic (more, if you really like garlic or live near a Hellmouth)
70-80 oz tomato sauce – you can use canned tomato sauce or jarred marinara sauce, or make your own from fresh tomatoes)
3 or 4 links hot Italian sausage
oregano, basil, parsley to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Small dice the mushrooms, onion, and red pepper. Small dice or grate/shred the carrot, and mince the garlic or run it through a garlic press.
Brown the beef in a skillet and drain on paper towels. Add some olive oil to the pan, because more lube is better. Saute the mushrooms for 5-10 minutes until mushrooms start to release their water and it cooks off a bit. Add the diced onions, carrot and bell pepper and saute 5-10 more minutes, then add the garlic for 3 more minutes.
Transfer the beef and vegetables to a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste, and 1-2 tsp each of dried oregano, basil and parsley, if you like. Or use fresh.
While you have the sauce simmering, cut the casings off the sausage and cut the sausage into roughly 1-inch chunks. Form into balls and brown in a skillet, making sure they’re thoroughly cooked. Drain on paper towels before adding to sauce. Simmer sauce covered for 2-3 hours on low, more if you like, with the pot lid slightly cracked, stirring every so often. The flavor of the meatballs will permeate throughout the sauce.
While the sauce is simmering, you should have plenty of time to go to the cask room in the Dal Riata to look for candles.
Zee’s Zucchini Linguini
Here’s what I bring to the table. (Ha! Cooking/eating pun! Zing!)
Pasta is great, so this isn’t a call to stop eating pasta. But if you’re allergic to gluten or if you just want to get more vegetables into your diet, it’s easy and fast to use zucchini to make a fantastic approximation of pasta noodles. I was skeptical at first but this is really good.
Take one or two zucchini, depending on how many people you’re serving (1 zucchini will feed 2 people). Wash and cut off both ends. Use a mandoline on the small julienne setting, or a julienne peeler, or a spiral slicer to slice the zucchini – the result will be very similar in size to linguini.
Hubris warning: use the guard if you’re using a mandoline. Here’s what I thought to myself: “If I’m careful, I won’t cut my finger.” WRONG. I sliced off a goodly portion of my finger and it hurt like a mo-fo. Once it healed, I forgot the pain and did it AGAIN a few weeks later. I think this is how people end up going through childbirth more than once. The cuts you will sustain from using a non-guarded mandoline are deep and painful. Learn from my youthful folly.
Pile the zucchini noodles onto paper towels to drain while you boil some regular pasta linguini. After the pasta is cooked and you’ve poured it into a colander, steam the zucchini noodles using a steamer or strainer for 2-3 minutes and then drain on paper towels. Mix it with the pasta. And then eat it. Eat it alllllllllllllllll.
This sauce freezes well and the recipe above will serve about 8, so if you’re not cooking for a huge group, freeze the leftovers and you’ll never go hungry again.